Canadian campaign in Italy, WWII
November 11, 2004 6:33 AM   Subscribe

The Italian Campaign The Globe and Mail has been running an excellent series on the Italian Campaign during WWII by Canadian troops. There are photos, artifacts, and articles, including one by Farley Mowat. (x-posted to MoFi)
posted by livii (6 comments total)
The Italian theatre of operations needs more coverage. I think as many Americans died in Italy as did the entire Pacific theatre. It was militarily speaking the wests biggest failure of the war. We cut our teeth on modern WWII style combat and we made a lot of serious mistakes at a high level of command. The victor writes the history and you won't see much discussion of this even to this day. A Pulitzer Prize book was written about it 2 years ago.
posted by stbalbach at 7:26 AM on November 11, 2004

The Canadian contribution to WW II needs more international coverage, as well. The Canadians did their part relative to the size of the population, but no one outside of Canada really remembers that they were there.

The US, UK and Russia get a lot of ink, but no one remembers the Canadians who sacrificed.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:10 AM on November 11, 2004

Thanks, livii, for the post and the shoutout to Farley. Great stuff.
posted by Shane at 8:17 AM on November 11, 2004

The addition of the 60th anniversary photos with the vintage record was a good editorial choice.
posted by xtian at 9:07 AM on November 11, 2004

Also of interest is this topic in the fantastic CBC Archives.

Interesting version of the D-Day Dodgers song the Globe has, as well. Here are a couple more verses to it that I've heard:

Dear Lady Astor, you think you're mighty hot,
Standing on a platform talking tommy-rot.
You're England's sweetheart and her pride:
We think your mouth's too bleeding wide.
We are the D-Day Dodgers way out in Italy.

Look among the mountains in the mud and rain
You'll see the wooden crosses, the graves without a name.
Heartbreak and toil and suffering gone
The boys beneath them slumber on.
They are the D-Day Dodgers who'll stay in Italy.
posted by transient at 9:56 AM on November 11, 2004

but no one outside of Canada really remembers that they were there

There are innumerable stories about how grateful the various European nations are to Canada's war efforts. When our veterans go over to Europe to re-visit the old sites, they're treated as gold. Canadians might not remember how important Canada was to the war effort and Americans are almost surely wholly ignorant of it, but you can be damn sure that the Europeans, and especially the Dutch, remember it.

As for the Italian component of the war, the memorial service in our town focused on it.

I was very impressed with the turn-out this year. Our town moved the ceremony indoors because the vets are finding it too difficult to stand outside in the cold for an hour; and as a side-effect, a whole lot more citizens are showing up for it. My first time, in fact; and I'll be encouraging my friends to show up next year.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:50 PM on November 11, 2004

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